Fonds 386 Kleskun Hill Local No. 370 United Farmers of Alberta fonds

Kleskun Hill Local No. 370 United Farmers of Alberta fonds. — 1915-1934. — 3.5 cm.


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The United Farmers of Alberta movement began in 1909 as part of a nation-wide agrarian uprising when two previous cooperative organizations, the Society of Equity and the Alberta Farmers’ Association merged. The UFA, led by Henry Wise Wood from 1916 to 1931, rapidly became involved in activities such as “library lending, social gatherings, adult education, political lobbying and cooperative elevators throughout Alberta” (Alberta in the 20th Century Vol. 3, p. 287). The UFA aimed to improve “the moral, intellectual and financial status of the farmer” ( p. 298) through cooperation. Originally formed as a populist organization, the UFA became a political party as well in 1919. The UFA ran in 1921 provincial election, which they won. The UFA remained in power until 1935.

Local UFA groups (“locals”) formed the basis of the organization. Starting with 122 locals (representing 5000 people) in 1909, the number had increased to 270 (representing 13 000 people) by 1911. Klekun Hill Local No. 370 was one of these groups. Locals engaged in activities such as cooperative purchase of supplies, produce and insurance sales, and the organization of community events. After the 1921 election, when the membership had reached nearly 38 000, the UFA’s membership numbers began to drop. By 1923, the UFA had less than 12 000 members and by 1932 membership had dropped to an all-time low of only 4098.

At the regular December 1915 meeting of the Council held at the Municipal Hall, it was decided to establish a local branch of the UFA. Thirty men signed a petition to be sent to the UFA office asking for instructions on how to set up a local. This first meeting saw B. E. Hays elected as President protem and L. D. Rosser as Secretary protem. At the next meeting in January 1916, elections were held making A. W. Carveth president, C. W. Johnston vice-president, and J. W. Shortreed, D. McDougall, Jas. Wheeler, A. V. Peschong, P. J. MacDonald, and A. L. Alderman directors. L. D. Rosser was appointed by the directors to serve as Secretary-Treasurer. Elections were held on a yearly basis from this time forward. This meeting also established boundaries for membership, which was to include all areas of the Grande Prairie Municipality. These boundaries likely changed as other locals were formed in the area. Membership for the local varied widely over the years from about 60 in 1916 to over 100 in 1917 and dropping over the next few years. 1926 saw a revival in the numbers back to about 40, but they dropped off again to about 10 by 1931. No meetings were held between June 1931 and June 1933. On June 26, 1933 a meeting was held to reorganize the local. Robert Cochrane was elected president, Louis Knight vice-president, Hugh A. Wilson secretary-treasurer and J. Weber, H. Windt, G. V. Carveth, and Robert Thompson directors. At this time the membership still numbered around 10. The decline in local membership may have been due to the formation of other locals in the area.

Activities of the Kleskun Hill local included the discussion of correpondence and matters of interest (relating to agriculture and the local community) and action to be taken on those matters, appointing delegates to conventions, fundraising for the local, buying products and shipping grain collectively, and organizing community events. In community events they frequently cooperated with the local UFWA group, with whom they occasionally held joint meetings.

Custodial History

The records were donated to Grande Prairie Public Library with the Isabel Campbell collection. In 2008 the Library donated them, as part of the Gerald V. Carveth collection, to South Peace Regional Archives.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of records relating to the operation of the Kleskun Hill Local No. 370 of the United Farmers of Alberta. The records include two Membership Roll, Cash Book, and Minute Books, loose receipts, loose correspondence, and related literature.

The fonds is divided into two series: Administrative records and Correspondence.

Notes

Title based on content of the fonds.

Table of Contents

Series 386.01Administrative records
Series 386.02Correspondence
Series 386.01Administrative records. — 1915-1933. — 2.5 cm.The series consists of records relating to the administration of the Kleskun Hill Local No. 370 of the United Farmers of Alberta. The records include two Membership Roll, Cash Book, and Minute Books (from 1915 to 1921 and 1921 to 1933), and loose receipts and postal notes (from 1927 to 1933). The Membership Roll, Cash Book, and Minute Books contain a list of members for each year including a record of dues paid and meetings attended for some years, a record of revenues and expenditures made by the Local, and minutes of meetings. The receipts consist mainly of those issued to members for payment of dues, although some relate to convention fees. The receipts were originally found mixed in with the loose correspondence. Most of the receipts were originally bound in two books (1927 and 1930 to 1933) which were disbound for conservation reasons. The receipts have been arranged in roughly chronological order by the Archivist.>
Series 386.02Correspondence. — 1927-1934. — 1 cm.The series consists of correspondence received by the secretary of the Kleskun Hill Local No. 370 between 1930 and 1934 and published materials related to the UFA movement. The published materials include the 1928 Constitution and By-Laws of the United Farmers of Alberta, a 1927 address “Education for the New Social Order,” a 1927 pamphlet “The Alberta Pool and the Grain Trade,” and a copy of the 1931 “Manifesto to the Farm People of Alberta.” The correspondence includes letters from the Regina World’s Grain Exhibition and Conference, the MP for Peace River, the Grande Prairie UFA Co-operative Association, and the UFA and UGG headquarters. Many of the letters from UFA and UGG headquarters are form letters sent to all UFA locals. The correspondence has been arranged chronologically by the Archivist. In most cases the envelopes have been discarded.
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